A List of Your Local NATOR Communities – What Makes Us Family

Ever wondered how to connect with your local Mazda crews and clubs?

Or have you ever gotten connected and then lost your ride somehow? For some of us it’s a crash, others of us sell our beloved Mazda and aim at our next dream car, or heck, even the necessary minivan.

What happens then? Not only did you lose your favorite car, but seemingly you lost out on the community as well. Does it make sense to show up to your favorite meets if you no longer drive the “proper” vehicle?

When it comes to the Nator groups, the love is still there regardless of what your next ride.

According to Micha Fullen, this is exactly how it goes; and it’s about so much more than the cars themselves:

“While at the annual Midwest meet this year in St Louis Missouri, washing my hair in the shower I had a thought, “Micha, why do you still come to this event when you don’t even own a Mazdaspeed anymore?”

I told myself, that being a Mazdaspeed owner past, present or future, is like being in a family. Especially when you involve yourself in the community and clubs that are offered throughout the country. Me, I’m a Nator Guy.

Year after year, we collectively travel thousands of miles to attend an event centered around vehicles that some of us don’t even own anymore. It’s crazy huh? Do the same thing, show up without owning the ‘correct’ Model Vehicle, at a VW or Honda meet and you get blacklisted and shunned.

Mazdaspeed owners don’t kick you out, or tell you that you shouldn’t be there. We just call each other; funny, and sometimes very rude, names. Then ask to race your new vehicle on a track, dragstrip or parking lot.  (More recently it’s been even helpful to all of them that I bought a truck… because we all know with spirited driving, and some showing off, something is bound to go wrong)

 I am closer to my Mazdaspeed family than I am to my own. This has been true since I bought my Speed 3 Jun of 2011. I had some problems with my car(s) and my Mazdaspeed (Nator) family came to my aid. But when that same family had problems of their own, I drove many miles or sometimes across multiple states to help them.

Corksport goes out of their way to attend these events. Not so much pushing parts, but to welcome family with open arms and stay connected to the grass roots of our community.

I met Barrett this year and even having never talked to him, he was the top 3 nicest dudes I have ever met. He got involved and talked shop with the majority of everyone in attendance. Kim is also a major voice in the community, listening to what the people want and bouncing ideas off of people to find how CorkSport can continuously push and evolve in this platform. She shows up to multiple events a year, stays in contact even throughout the winter and is always helping her “brothers and sisters” with their own endeavors, even if it doesn’t involve Corksport.

This year, if you were at the Midwest meet, you would see that a good majority of people have moved on to new platforms, specifically the new ecoboost options from Ford being very popular. Adrienne K with her Focus RS, Matt D with his FoST and Ryan P with his brand new FiST, and myself, I went way to the left with the new Raptor (Hey it has 2 turbos mmmmmkay).

It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, or even if you have moved on, we all got our start with Mazdaspeeds and we always stick with Family.”

As you see, being a Mazda owner is about the community, the family, the connection to other Mazdaspeed Enthusiasts.

And being an enthusiast isn’t always defined by the fact you still own a Mazda. It’s defined by being a car family. There may be groups that require you to own a Mazda to show up, but when it comes to Nator, once a Mazdaspeed Nator Family member, always one.

If you’re curious about where to connect, who to reach out to, or how to get in touch with your local Mazda club, check out the list below.

While we would love for this list to be exhaustive, it’s not, so if you’re currently involved in a club not listed, please let us know and we’ll be sure to make it easier for other CorkSport followers to connect with your group!

Download PDF of List:  NATOR Clubs List

CorkSquad https://www.facebook.com/groups/1634041806878345/ Savannah GA
Southern Street Crew https://www.facebook.com/groups/454444514600458/ GA
MMOC https://www.facebook.com/groups/MIMazda/ Michigan
ClubMPS https://www.facebook.com/groups/clubmpsnz/ New Zealand
LVMazdas https://www.facebook.com/groups/LVMazdas Las Vegas
NoVA Mazdaclub https://www.facebook.com/groups/321399927926454 VA
Mazda Miata Mx5 WA/OR https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698103380420298 WA/OR
Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/mazdamilitia WA
Nothern Mazda Militia https://www.facebook.com/groups/286006598276940
Texas Mazdaspeeds https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasMazdaspeeds TX
PNW_Mazda https://www.facebook.com/groups/PNWMazda WA/OR
Mazda 3 Owners Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mazda3OA AUS
Mazdas of Killeen/Fort Hood https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasspeeddemons TX
Nator Oregon https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorOR OR
Nator TN/KY https://www.facebook.com/groups/206647016088166 TN/KY
Nator Oklahoma https://www.facebook.com/groups/NATOROK OK
Nator NC/SC https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Carolina/104083326294266 NC/SC
Nator Minnesota https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatorMinnnesota MN
Nator Georgia https://www.facebook.com/groups/163448653866393 GA
Nator Florida https://www.facebook.com/groups/1298072073575997 FL
Nator Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/natormo MO
Nator AR https://www.facebook.com/groups/708796579135806 AR
Nator New Mexico https://www.facebook.com/groups/270637012974823 NM
Nator San Diego https://www.facebook.com/groups/natorsd/about/ CA
Nator DC metro https://www.facebook.com/groups/147772498652109 DC
Nator WA https://www.facebook.com/groups/948847285235072 WA/OR
Nator WI https://www.facebook.com/groups/379868465454404 WI
Nator Chapter E https://www.facebook.com/groups/176597409073225/ FL
Nator New England https://www.facebook.com/groups/255796874460817 New England
Nator Houston Miata https://www.facebook.com/groups/446031202177809 TX

Dear Car Clubs: We Want To Hear From You!

Dear Car Guy,

Did you know there are LOTS of Car Guys and Gals out there in the Mazdaspeed world?

From Nator Clubs and Mazda Nova Clubs to Mazdaspeed and Meet Up Clubs, the branding is slightly different for each area and each group, but the heart and soul of the people who get involved stays the same.

Great people, big appetites (for speed and food), awesome tastes in beers and booze, and a genuine care for their fellow club members. I have made sure to attend meets and get to know the nitty gritty center of our Mazda Community, mostly because who doesn’t want to do Car stuff with their Car friends. However, I also do it because it’s an integral part of CorkSport’s vision, to give unprecedented levels of customer support and connection to the Mazda Community.

We ultimately just want to LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS, and I’ll take one for the team and meet you Guys and Gals face to face.

We’ve been to the MidWest Nator meet, the East Coast Nator Meet, and the Boise Mazda Take-over event this past year. We have also hosted our CorkSport Dyno day and given the west coast Mazda community a place to gather as well! Let me just say, it’s been amazing getting to know everyone, and seeing some awesome familiar faces.

The one thing that really stands out for me is the sense of community that is built at the center of all of this. I’ll admit I’m a people person, so of course YOU are my favorite part of working for CorkSport, however, it’s a community like no other, regardless of the title it goes by. The values of the Mazda community stay fairly similar, with mods, install days, track days, meet ups, and expansion of the love we all share for the Mazda Platform.

A group of awesome individuals, getting together, teaching those who don’t know how, and taking are of those who do (and still break down).

There are Groups all over the US (and I’m sure international), that we don’t even know about. It’s my hope that when you read this, you pass me your group pages, club names, social addresses, etc., so that CorkSport can help others in your area connect!

Near and Far, no matter where you are, let CorkSport hear from you!

Until next time, stay safe, stay fast, stay happy my friends!

-Kim @ CorkSport

 

 

We want YOU to help us design the next CorkSport Branded Ride!

As if it wasn’t obvious, we have a plethora of vehicles to work with around here. True to fashion of course, we at CorkSport have gone and done it again: We went and filled some of the last remaining shop space with ANOTHER CAR.

Not just any car. Say “Hello” to our newest addition: 2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback, touring 2.5L SKYACTIVE-G. Equipped with an automatic transmission and some of the nicer creature comforts.

We love the sparkle of the Eternal Blue Mica and of course her 18” gunmetal dancing shoes. However, as with all things good and standard in the world, we couldn’t help but think that the potential for upgrading is endless.

Do we strip it and go full race car? Perhaps something crazy and AWD swap of sorts? Or maybe we take it way out of left field and go rally-style with it?

With the opportunities being endless, it was starting to make our heads hurt, so we decided to take a step back and start with the basics. We asked ourselves:

“How would our average customer who just picked this car up dream of modifying it?”

And that is exactly what we are doing.

If you guys are anything like us, then you have several hobbies that extend beyond just cars. Some of our team’s personal favorite other hobbies include hiking, camping, traveling, water sports, chilling at the beach, and has recently included obstacle course racing. With all these interests taking up different aspects of our time, we would need a ride that can accommodate our lifestyle. While it would be awesome to have a 6-second drag car, we’d probably have to lose some creature comforts or find a pot of gold to cover the cost, and that’s just not what the average Mazda enthusiast is about.

This project, like we said, is for YOU. And if it’s for you, then we need your help in putting it together.

PIC: NWAPA – Vinnie Nguyen

This car, or as we are designating it: “Project CBR” (CorkSport branded ride), will be built by the people for the people.

We are going to take you with us on the full journey of this car; from the basic mods to the full on weekend task. From the daily driver to the long road hauler. From the car wash to the full service details. We are going to show you everything and anything on this car.

And through the whole process, everything is going to be built with your help.

Over the next several months as we put some miles on our test mule, we will want your guys’ feedback.

  • Do we put springs and shocks on it or full coilovers?
  • What type of wheels should we get?
  • Tint the windows, wrap it, get rid of the chrome?
  • The list goes on!

Every couple of weeks, we will keep you updated on where the car stands and what you think we should do next.

We will create a section on the CorkSport site so you can follow along, ask questions, provide suggestions, and fully immerse yourself into the car. Ever so often, we will also host a poll and you guys will vote on what happens next!

Think reverse sponsored: Instead of CorkSport’s name being the only one on this ride, we will be giving Sponsorship Cred to the Mazda Enthusiasts who give us the ideas for our mods. (first come, first credits).

We’ll put YOUR NAME on the CorkSport Branded Ride.

If you have a Dream Mod, and We pull it off on the CBR, you’ll get the credits… Remember: The CBR is By the People, For the People!

Stay Tuned, we’ll need your feedback soon!

CorkSport

Why CorkSport Loves Our Family Of Customers

Hey all!

Although normally we have a ton of technical information for you, this time around, we wanted to take an opportunity to share with you an awesome customer story we had happen a couple weeks back.

CorkSport is all about growing our family base, and constantly trying to connect with our community. Let’s be honest, we are here because of our family of customers, and we will continue to be here as long as our family is as well.

As most of you know, our company runs on internet-based sales, but we are also present Monday through Friday in the office to field any walk-in customers we may have. Anyone is welcome to come visit us at our HQ, and also to pick up parts we have in store. Most people wouldn’t guess that we have a showroom, but as you walk in you can see an exhaust hanging from the ceiling, and a handful of parts we display on the shelf, so people get an idea of what we do in-person.

We would love to see more people come through our front doors, and we welcome anyone from anywhere to come visit us.

A couple of weeks ago, we were paid a special visit from a customer named Rick and his wife, who came all the way from South Carolina on some business, and wanted to stop by CorkSport while they were in town.

Rick and I had a conversation about adding some Drag Bags to the rear of his MS3 in order to keep it from rubbing. He later called and told me it worked perfectly and thanked me for my recommendation. Rick has a first generation Mazdaspeed 3, and he was wondering what type of modifications he would need in order to make a certain whp. After chatting with him for a bit, and giving him a list of parts he would need to reach his goals, we decided it would be a good idea to snap a couple pictures to make sure we saved the memory!

After Rick and his wife had left, I realized that those are the types of experiences and interactions that our team at CorkSport loves.

It was very refreshing to talk with a customer multiple times, and then be able to put a face to the voice on the other end of the phone. This is what CorkSport is all about. We are here for YOU. We want to see you succeed.

CorkSport takes a lot of pride in making sure our customers come first. It’s also our highest priority that if you as the customer ever feel like you are not being valued like you’re “Number One”, we will do what we need to in order for you to feel that way.

CorkSport wants to make sure the entire community is part of our family. We would love nothing more than to hear our customers feeling like they can come to us for anything, just like Rick did, because well… that’s what family is all about.

Cheers,

Luke

Friends Keep You Going When Your Car Hits the Skids

When car troubles find you, it’s nice to have a support network of great friends to help you through.
A red gen1 ready for street tuning.

To start this story, we have to go back almost two years. Since a few high power builds and a lot of bolt on cars were all being finished up at the same time, the UtahMazdas crew decided that we would fly Will and Ryan from PDTuning out for the weekend to street tune everyone’s cars.

Meeting the Mazda gremlins

We all got ready and awaited the arrival date. As we got closer to the date, I learned that Zach (the previous owner of my red gen1) was going to be unable to attend as he had a scheduling conflict due to a family vacation. So, being the nice guy that I am, I offered to swap him cars and take his car down to meet up with everyone at Evolutionary Performance and get the tune done for him. Since I had driven the car before (on the 400 whp setup), it seemed like a good fit.

Long story short, at the meetup, the first thing I noticed about the car is that it would randomly die at idle for some reason. After spending the weekend trying to diagnose all the gremlins with this freshly built car, we ran out of time and were unable to tune it.

I had the car for a few more days, and even though it left my girlfriend and me stranded, I still loved the car. It brought a smile to my face that I couldn’t wipe off.

Time to get to the bottom of the trouble

Fast forward a few weeks, and we’re still having trouble. Finally, Zach stopped by my desk at Mazda. He was frustrated since the car was still riddled with issue after issue and wasn’t getting any better. He said he was probably just going to sell it.

I picked the car up a few days later unsure of what I was getting myself into.
On the hunt for trouble.

After very little thought and some hasty decisions, we struck a deal. I picked the car up a few days later unsure of what I was getting myself into. The only thing I knew was that there was something about this car that made me happy in a childlike way.

After a lot of work, and some great help from my amazing group of friends, the issue of dying at idle was taken care of along with a whole new VVT kit. The car was, at long last, now ready to begin the tuning process. As the car started to make more and more power, it started to show its weaknesses and it just felt like it was never going to work. But I kept pushing on and fixing it along the way.

At last, a breakthrough

Finally, it happened — a day I thought would never come! The pump gas tune was finished just in time for the very first Mazdaspeed takeover in Boise. We met up a few days later and headed to Boise. I drove the car all the way there without issue.

We attended a few different events and the car not only didn’t let me down, but it continued to impress me.
A well-deserved award for perseverance.

We attended a few different events and the car not only didn’t let me down, but it continued to impress me. After hours of hanging out with everyone at the dyno day, I loaded up the slicks and went to Firebird Raceway for the track night at the takeover. As I didn’t have much seat time in the car at the track, it was not as fast as I would have hoped. But with Barett by my side and with some helpful coaching — all that engineering stuff that makes no sense to me — the car started getting faster and faster.

Then, on the last run, the unimaginable happened. The connecting rod decided that it’d had enough and wanted to see the world. After a whole bunch of noise and smoke, the motor was done and we were sitting in Boise trying to decide what we were going to do. Thanks to some quick thinking from the locals, and my amazing partner in crime Marisa, we got the car on a tow truck and headed back to Keith’s house.

Keith, being the great man that he is, let me store my ride in his garage for a week while we made the drive home and back with a trailer to come and get it.
Once more unto the breach.

Keith, being the great man that he is, let me store my ride in his garage for a week while we made the drive home and back with a trailer to come and get it.

Back to the drawing board

A week later, we picked her up and took her home. There she sat and waited while I tried to figure out what I was going to do to fix the problem. Once again, my friends — who are really more like family to me — came to the rescue. We all met up one Sunday morning to tear the motor out of the car and find out what was salvageable.

Once we tore down the motor, we realized that very little could be saved, so I contacted FJ Performance to have a new motor built. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, the motor was delivered and, once again, the UtahMazdas crew got together. The only difference? This time we’d graduated from the storage unit to a two-post lift at Evolutionary Performance.

We installed the motor and, after a few hiccups, we had it running for the first time in seven months. Safe to say, I was ecstatic.

After many oil changes and a careful break-in procedure, I noticed that the new motor was still having issues, but I kept pushing forward with assurance that it would get better. Sadly, it did not. The motor ate a head gasket a mere 2,000 miles into boost ‘n chill.

Let’s try this again

At this point, I was devastated. I wasn’t sure if I was going to part the car out or just sell it as a roller with no motor.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to part the car out or just sell it as a roller with no motor.
When you love something, you don’t give up on it.

After thinking it over and talking to everyone that has helped me along the way — oh, and don’t forget Luke McCarvel hitting me up every day demanding that I keep the car — I decided that there was only one thing to do. So, once again, it was time to take my baby back to EP and, this time, the motor would be built by Artem and myself so that there would be no doubt it’d be perfect this time around.

If there is one thing that this whole experience has taught me, it’s that you can always count on your friends to be there when you need a hand. And you can always count on the crew at CorkSport to keep you motivated.

Cheers,

Cody Allington